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Monday, 13 July 2015

Command for Prayer in Quran

Assalamualaikum !

Its almost the end of Ramadan month. I know 'puasa 20 jam' had been quite popular off late. hehe. Fasting in a four seasons countries - the month of Ramadan keep on shifting from one season to slowly routing for all year round. When I was first came to UK to study (2006), it was in fall/autumn/ September and it was Ramadan.  The fasting period is very much like Malaysia then it slowly shifted from Fall 2006 to Summer since 2012 to now (so it took about 10 years for it to change from Autumn to Summer) and it is slowly moving towards fall - winter - spring -summer again. So yeah its like a wheel ! To those left a comment on the previous post, I wish you all the best too! Inshaa Allah. 

(traveler's diary)

I should admit that being a Muslim since birth, a lot of things I practice are actually by 'default' - which means what the society practices are mainly what I follow. There is hardly no question about , 'so what is the source for this practices ? which verses in Quran said so ? and what each words in the Quranic verses mean ? ' 

My Arabic Quran teacher once told me, Quran is made for all. It is a mercy to all humankind. It shall not be so hard to understand when Allah swt stated that it is for all not just for the highest rank of ulama. We just need to make an effort to learn. If we read a tafseer it is like we are reading Quran from the translator's point of view. I should admit that I only attend the class once but yeah I know I should enroll for 2nd level and above now. However as for now I still relies on tafseer and translation) 

(useful link to online translation: 

I do read Quran translation since I was small. There are parts which I dont actually understand. Some people say, better not understand it. but if we dont understand it then what is the different between us and those who blindly follow specifically the Christian (whose bible was written in Hebrew but widely translated into English and Greek, the funny thing I had once encounter was when one Malaysia friend invited me to attend Sunday church prayer I have no problem with that but then I asked her, is she always read the Gospel ? and which one does she read ? She was speechless as not knowing which is which and she dont even know that Jesus is actually from Palestine). 

What is the point I'm saying all this ? I'm not trying to bring her down but I dont want to be in that state of practicing without knowledge. I do know quite well with hadith, but then most of the hadith and Quranic verses that I remember are all for moral basis. What about the basic understanding of Islam such as : prayer, fasting, halal and haram (alcohol, gambling, hijab, sexual conduct etc) ? 

To be honest, living here, you will see a lots of diversion (Abrahamic religions (Jews, Christian (Protestant and Catholic), Islam (shiah and Sunni)), agnostic, atheist, Scientology, Hindu, Buddhist etc) . You will be asked many questions. And all those questions actually make me want to understand my religion more. 

Plus having an English boyfriend who is an agnostic: he believe in One God and good moral conduct but not in any specific bibles. He was raised as a Catholic and went to a Catholic School. He said, when he was 13/14 he started to doubt his religion as most of his questions could not be answered by the priests especially as to why the church make a practice of eating a bread - as a symbol of Jesus's flesh and drinking wine - as a symbol of Jesus's blood. He found it has no logic. He respect my religion but honestly his questions as he is trying to understand why I do what I did sometimes simulate my mind to do my own research and it makes me realize that I dont hold the basis myself. Some people told me to - let him listen to certain and certain kind of people, but if I need to re-direct him to another person to explain to him about why I do what I did, it shows my lack of understanding of my own choice of faith. One of his statement which made me really think is : 
" if God created religion, it must be perfect "

So I read and search more. Every time I reasons, there are parts which make me wonder but as I searched further (especially Quranic language can have multiple meaning for one single word) I finds perfection again. However my other half did not dig in other religions. He just denied the truth of his previous religion. But indeed, he encouraged me to do the Quranic research. Practice what I believe is right. 
[98:5]  All that was asked of them was to worship GOD, devoting the religion absolutely to Him alone, observe the contact prayers (salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat). Such is the perfect religion.
[6:114] "Shall I seek other than God as a source of law, when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?“
[16:89] "We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything.“
[6:114]"......He has revealed to you this book fully detailed.“

So, I started with the pillar of Islam : Prayer. 

Plus, Ramadan is actually the celebration of Quran revelation. Now I understand that it not just about recitation but understanding. 

My questions to myself are : 
  1. how do we know we need to pray 5 times a day ? (yes, i have Muslim friends who pray 3 times a day. No dia bukan ajaran sesat. I mean in this situation, you will wonder and search for 'why' and am I right and is he is right ? or we both are equally right ? )  
  2. how to perform the prayer ?
All base from the Al-Quran on its own. 

I asked the question in my instagram. alhamdulillah at least one person did answer the question tho :)

My findings are : Prayers were referred as (1) contact prayer (solat) and (2) worship/glorify/zikir; and mentioned 67 times in the Quran (the numbers might be more if I failed to track them all). 

As I read trough, I started to really appreciate the fact that solat itself means 'contact prayer', imagine God is managing the whole universe and in fact human being is just a very very small fraction of the whole universe, and yet God allow us to make a contact with Him. God said, as recorded in the Quran, that contact prayer is for us to ask things from Him, as a way of respecting/worshipping Him, and a way to avoid evil and sins. 

While it is also mentioned so many times that remembering Allah swt in whatever we do is actually far better and more objective - does not mean that you do not need to pray but this emphasize the importance of zikir (the act of remembering God throughout the day). 

[29:45] "You shall recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and observe the Salat (Contact Prayers), for the Salat prohibits evil and vice. But the remembrance of God is the most important objective. God is aware of all that you do."

The first 12 sentences in Quran are about how you perform the prayer, the mentioned of the importance of the contact prayer in every sentences, and about remembering/glorifying/worshiping Allah s.w.t throughout the day. 

First 12: How to perform solat: 
       1. [5:6] "O you who believe, when you observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) you shall wash your faces, wash your arms to the elbows, wipe your heads and wash your feet to the ankles." 

2.[2:238] "You shall consistently observe the Salat (Contact Prayers), especially the middle prayer, and stand obedient to God."  

3.[11:114] You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) at both ends of the day, and during the night. The righteous works wipe out the evil works. This is a reminder for those who would take heed.

4.[17:78]  You shall observe the Contact Prayer (salat) when the sun declines from its highest point at noon, as it moves towards sunset. You shall also observe (the recitation of) the Quran at dawn. (Reciting) the Quran at dawn is witnessed.

5.[62:9-10] "O you who believe, when the Salat is announced on Friday, you shall hasten to the commemoration of God, and drop all business. This is better for you, if you only knew. Once the prayer is completed, you may spread through the land to seek God's bounties, and continue to remember God frequently, that you may succeed."

6.[2:143] "We appointed the Qiblah which you formerly observed only that We may know those who follow the messenger from those who turn back on their heels."  

7.[2:149] "Wherever you go, you shall turn your face (during Salat) towards the Sacred Masjid. This is the truth from your Lord. God is never unaware of anything you all do."  

8.[2:144] "We have seen you (O Muhammad) turning your face about the sky (searching for the right direction). We now assign a Qiblah that is pleasing to you. Henceforth, you shall turn your face towards the Sacred Masjid."
  9.[17:110] Say, "Call Him GOD, or call Him the Most Gracious; whichever name you use, to Him belongs the best names." You shall not utter your Contact Prayers (Salat) too loudly, nor too low; use a moderate tone.

10.[4:43]  O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (SALAT) while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying. Nor after sexual orgasm without bathing, unless you are on the road, traveling; if you are ill or traveling, or you had urinary or fecal-related excretion (such as gas), or contacted the women (sexually), and you cannot find water, you shall observe Tayammum (dry ablution) by touching clean dry soil, then wiping your faces and hands therewith. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.

11.[4:101]  When you travel, during war, you commit no error by shortening your Contact Prayers (salat), if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you. Surely, the disbelievers are your ardent enemies.

12.[5:6]  O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers (salat), you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles. If you were unclean due to sexual orgasm, you shall bathe. If you are ill, or traveling, or had any digestive excretion (urinary, fecal, or gas), or had (sexual) contact with the women, and you cannot find water, you shall observe the dry ablution (Tayammum) by touching clean dry soil, then rubbing your faces and hands. GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative.

The next 55 are for both contact prayer and zikir: 

[98:5]  All that was asked of them was to worship GOD, devoting the religion absolutely to Him alone, observe the contact prayers (salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat). Such is the perfect religion.
[6:162-163] "Say, "My Salat (Contact Prayers), my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted absolutely to God alone, the Lord of the universe.  He has no partner. This is what I am ordered, and I am the first to submit." 
[23:2] Successful indeed are the believers; who are humble/reverent (have a deep respect of God) during their Salat (Contact Prayers)."
[18:27]  "You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's Scripture (the Quran). Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it."
[56:74] "You shall glorify the name of your Lord, the Great".
[87:1] "Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High".[73:20]  Your Lord knows that you meditate during two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or one-third of it, and so do some of those who believed with you. GOD has designed the night and the day, and He knows that you cannot always do this. He has pardoned you. Instead, you shall read what you can of the Quran. He knows that some of you may be ill, others may be traveling in pursuit of GOD's provisions, and others may be striving in the cause of GOD. You shall read what you can of it, and observe the contact prayers (Salat), give the obligatory Charity (Zakat), and lend GOD a loan of righteousness. Whatever good you send ahead on behalf of your souls, you will find it at GOD far better and generously rewarded. And implore GOD for forgiveness. Allah is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[50:40] "During the night you shall glorify Him, and after prostrating."  
[2:3-5] who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity. And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners.
[2:43]  You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow down.
[2:45]  You shall seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (Salat). This is difficult indeed, but not so for the reverent.
[2:153]  O you who believe, seek help through steadfastness and the Contact Prayers (salat). Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere.
[29:45] "Observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) for it prohibits evil and vice."
[15:98-99] "You shall praise your Lord and be with the prostrates, and worship your Lord until you attain certainty."
[35:29-30] "Surely, those who recite the book of God, observe the Contact Prayers/Salat and are charitable both discreetly and openly can hope for an investment that never loses. He will recompense them generously and will multiply His blessings upon them. He is Forgiving, Appreciative."
[29:45] "You shall recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture, and observe the Salat (Contact Prayers), for the Salat prohibits evil and vice. But the remembrance of God is the most important objective. God is aware of all that you do."
[20:14] "I am God, there is no other God but Me, you shall worship/serve Me and observe the Salat (Contact Prayers) and remember me/zikir.
[4:43] "O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) while intoxicated, till you ( so that you ) know what you are saying."
[2:43]  You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and bow down with those who bow (in worship).
[2:150] "Wherever you go, you shall turn your face (during Salat) towards the Sacred Masjid; wherever you might be, you shall turn your faces (during Salat) towards it."  
[7:31] O children of Adam, you shall be clean and dress nicely when you go to the masjid. And eat and drink moderately; Surely, He does not love the gluttons/melampau.
[3:39] "The angels called to him as he was standing praying in the sanctuary: "Allah gives you good news of John; a believer in the word of God, honorable, moral, and a righteous prophet."  
[7:170]  Those who uphold the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (salat), we never fail to recompense the pious.
[9:18]  The only people to frequent GOD's masjids are those who believe in GOD and the Last Day, and observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and do not fear except GOD. These will surely be among the guided ones.
[9:54] What prevented the acceptance of their spending is that they disbelieved in GOD and His messenger, and when they observed the Contact Prayers (Salat), they observed them lazily, and when they gave to charity, they did so grudgingly.
[9:71]  The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they obey GOD and His messenger. These will be showered by GOD's mercy. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
[10:87]  We inspired Moses and his brother. "Maintain your homes in Egypt for the time being, turn your homes into synagogues, and maintain the Contact Prayers (salat). Give good news to the believers."
[14:31]  Exhort My servants who believed to observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and to give (to charity) from our provisions to them, secretly and publicly, before a day comes where there is neither trade, nor nepotism.
[19:59]  After them, He substituted generations who lost the Contact Prayers (salat), and pursued their lusts. They will suffer the consequences.
[20:132]  You shall enjoin your family to observe the contact prayers (salat), and steadfastly persevere in doing so. We do not ask you for any provisions; we are the ones who provide for you. The ultimate triumph belongs to the righteous.
[21:73]  We made them imams who guided in accordance with our commandments, and we taught them how to work righteousness, and how to observe the Contact Prayers (salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat). To us, they were devoted worshipers.
[22:35]  They are the ones whose hearts tremble upon mentioning GOD, they steadfastly persevere during adversity, they observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity.
[22:41]  They are those who, if we appointed them as rulers on earth, they would establish the Contact Prayers (salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat), and would advocate righteousness and forbid evil. GOD is the ultimate ruler.
[24:37]  People who are not distracted by business or trade from commemorating GOD; they observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they are conscious of the day when the minds and the eyes will be horrified.
[29:45]  You shall recite what is revealed to you of the scripture, and observe the Contact Prayers (salat), for the Contact Prayers prohibit evil and vice. But the remembrance of GOD is the most important objective. GOD knows everything you do.
[30:31] You shall submit to Him, worship Him, observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and - whatever you do - do not ever fall into idol worship.
[35:29]  Surely, those who recite the book of GOD, observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and from our provisions to them they spend - secretly and publicly - are engaged in an investment that never loses.
[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).
[74:38-47] Every soul is responsible to its doing. Except for those on the right. While in Paradise, they will ask. About the guilty. "What brought you to this retribution?“ They will say, "We did not observe the contact prayers (Salat). "We did not feed the poor. "We blundered with the blunderers. "We disbelieved in the Day of Judgment"Until certainty came to us now."
[74:1-7] O you hidden secret. Come out and warn. Extol your Lord. Purify your garment. Forsake what is wrong. Be content with your lot. Steadfastly commemorate your Lord.
[4:102] "When you are with them, and lead the Salat (Contact Prayer) for them, leta group of them stand with you and let them hold their weapons, and let them stand behind you as you prostrate.  Then, let the other group that has not prayed take their turn praying with you, while the others stand guard and hold their weapons." 
[22:26] "We appointed Abraham to establish the Shrine: "You shall not idolize any other god beside Me, and purify My shrine for those who visit it, those who live near it, and those who bow and prostrate."  
[48:29] "Muhammad-the messenger of God, and those with him are harsh and stern against the disbelievers, but kind and compassionate amongst themselves.  You see them bowing and prostrating, as they seek God's blessings and approval."  
[29:45] "You shall recite what is revealed to you of the Scripture (the Quran), and observe the Salat (Contact Prayers)." 
[3:113] "They are not all the same; among the followers of the scripture there are those who are righteous. They recite God's revelations through the night while prostrating."  
[16:98] "When you read the Quran, you shall seek refuge in God from Satan the rejected."  
[4:102] " ...... then when they have performed their prostration (fa iza sajadu) let them fall to the rear and let another group come that has not worshipped yet and let them worship with you ......"   
[2:239] "Under unusual circumstances, you may pray while walking or riding. Once you are safe, you shall commemorate God as He taught you what you never knew."  
[4:103] Once you complete your Contact Prayer (salat), you shall remember GOD while standing, sitting, or lying down. Once the war is over, you shall observe the Contact Prayers (salat); the Contact Prayers (salat) are decreed for the believers at specific times.
[4:142]  The hypocrites think that they are deceiving GOD, but He is the One who leads them on. When they get up for the Contact Prayer (salat), they get up lazily. That is because they only show off in front of the people, and rarely do they think of GOD.
[5:55]  Your real allies are GOD and His messenger, and the believers who observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), and they bow down.
[5:91]  The devil wants to provoke animosity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and to distract you from remembering Allah, and from observing the Contact Prayers (salat). Will you then refrain?
[5:106]  O you who believe, witnessing a will when one of you is dying shall be done by two equitable people among you. If you are traveling, then two others may do the witnessing. After observing the Contact Prayer (salat), let the witnesses swear by GOD, to alleviate your doubts: "We will not use this to attain personal gains, even if the testator is related to us. Nor will we conceal GOD's testimony. Otherwise, we would be sinners."
[6:72]  "And to observe the Contact Prayers (salat), and to reverence Him - He is the One before whom you will be summoned (for the reckoning).“
[10:9-10] "As for those who believe and lead a righteous life, their Lord guides them by virtue of their belief. Rivers will flow beneath them in the garden of bliss. Their prayer therein is, 'Be You Glorified our God' their greeting therein is, 'Peace' and the ending/conclusion of their prayer is, Praise be to God, Lord of the universe"

Semoga bermanfaat ! Inshaa Allah. 

And some declaration : when I posted religious stuff sometimes the typical Malaysian will go : seesh as if she is so saint ( I believe you too might experience the same thing) but honestly I think that attitude is an attitude of an ignorant. To know why we do what we are doing is very crucial. It is indeed the basis of our faith (or in Arab its mean iman). It is not to show our status of knowledge of course but to understand our own faith and belief. 

p/s: if you have more to add feel free to drop your comment :) I hope this Ramadan bring us back to Quran (the words of God). inshaa Allah. 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Spring blooms into beautiful you

20.04.2015/ Spring 

London Hyde Park 

Woken up at 5.00 am for Subuh prayer. Its already bright outside but sunrise was at 5.52 am and Subuh prayer fall at 3.43 am, ended by 5.52 am.. Honestly it kind of a struggle to make it for the Subuh prayer during late Spring and Summer time where Isha' is currently around 10.19 pm and Subuh is as early as 3.43 am (and it will be earlier in Summer and Isha will be more late later) but alhamdulillah its okay so far...

Its been 2 years and a half I'm in Newcastle (Sept 2012 to now)
I was in Sheffield for 4 years (2006-2010)

Things moves so quickly... Sometimes I wonder, is this time better than before (my undergraduate) in term of my experience ? How I integrate with the local community. My career wise.... I had been travelling back and forth from Malaysia to UK sometimes up to 3-4 times a year for my phD data collection, the novel purposes, and business purposes (and for my family hehe).

I think I travel less now compared to when doing my undergraduate.
I integrate less with my British colleagues compared to when I was younger.
I party less (shhh...)
I wander as a lone wolf late at night far less than before to....

Everything is less isnt it ?

What happen ?

Maybe once we have graduated, we have worked, we experienced how hard it was/is to make a living and how professional we should act, we know after this phD studying we will fall back into such kind of life. We know we need to be prepared. So we treat this phD absolutely like our own career, indeed it is. It is actually a course which trains us to be an independent researcher. Well, seriously everyone are very independent. Nobody knows what we are doing. We are the expert in our case study even our supervisors wouldnt know as much as we do know about it. Most of the time, we need to initiate for ideas, different ideas, we need to find investors, we need to make a decision. Most of the time supervisors advises wont help you, sometimes it can ruin you. It  happens.

But a stone wont become a diamond until it succeed under high pressure.

So do us.

An hour break from the office work, when the weather is nice things turn into magic!
when it doesnt, well we need to bear it :)

No matter what our situation might be :

Either you are a full time mom struggling with domestic management, or high rank CEOs in top company, I believe we all have our own struggle. If we managed to smile before we sleep and woke up feeling better, we have beat the struggles! We are building a stronger version of ourselves :)

And as we hit age 27 above, I think we'll start thinking about 'jodoh', do I still wanna be single ? But I am very happy living alone ? But when we reach 30 (if we are in Malaysia) you know, saham jatuh etc so should we no matter what find our Mr Soulmate ? Is there is Mr Soulmate ? Does he really exist ? And I even asked God, I mean asking for His guidance, should I just waited or I need to do something about it ? Most of the time it brought me to this verses :

"....Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron." [Quran 13:11]

and yeah it is true. you need to open up your heart. do something but most importantly pray to Allah to get whatever you wanted. Work for it but remember, it is still Allah who give you whatever you are trying to get.... Hope Allah ease our journey. All of us :)

Some asked when I'll be publishing the next novel ?  

The only answer I can give you now is, I need to finish up my thesis writing then I can start thinking about my 3rd novel. Most of the engineering phD took 3 years for experimentation and 6 - 10 months for the whole thesis writing and VIVA. Pray for me guys !

May Allah bless you all too